Migrants arrive in Austria from Hungary after border move

5 September 2015

From the section Europe

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Reuters

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Small groups crossed from Hungary into Austria early on Saturday

Migrants are arriving in Austria after Hungary’s surprise move to provide buses for them.For days, Hungary had blocked migrants from travelling by train to Western Europe, saying it was obliged to register them, sparking angry scenes.Austria says it has agreed with Germany to let the arrivals cross their borders.It comes as European Union states are struggling to agree on how to deal with an unprecedented surge in migrants.Buses began arriving at Keleti station, central Budapest, late on Friday, which for days has become a makeshift camp for thousands of migrants.

Vehicles were also sent to collect hundreds who broke away from the camp to walk on foot along the main road to Austria.When the buses arrived to collect them, some of the migrants argued with officials, fearful they would be arrested rather than sent to Germany, the BBC’s Matthew Price reported.But later, small groups began crossing the border, with some Austrians putting up welcome signs.

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Getty Images

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The transport arrived late on Friday evening in central Budapest

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Reuters

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Others came to pick up hundreds waiting on the main road to Austria

The BBC’s Bethany Bell saw the first group of about 30 migrants cross into Austria on foot, after the buses dropped off them off on the Hungarian side of the border. She says some were limping, but many were smiling with relief. Austrian Red Cross workers at a makeshift centre greeted them with blankets and tea. “I feel [at] home,” said Ayaz Morad, one of the first to arrive. “This is a great land – nice people, nice government.”‘Emergency situation’Many of the migrants hope to travel on to Germany, which has said it expects to take in 800,000 people this year.The Hungarian government said it had despatched the buses so that the country’s transport network would not become “paralysed”.Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann said that after talks with his German counterpart Angela Merkel, the two countries would allow in the migrants due to the “emergency situation” in Hungary.But he said he expected Hungary to respect any EU quotas for asylum seekers – something Hungary, along with the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, has rejected.

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